The Main Challenges Companies Face in Making Remote Work Permanent
It has been over a year since a viral pandemic forced the corporate world to adopt remote work. Some top industry companies, including Facebook, Slack, and Twitter, have already announced that their employees can permanently work from home. Many more companies have had a hard time adjusting to the new way of work, especially social distancing requirements in closed workplaces.
While a shorter-term approach to remote work may have worked to keep many businesses and organizations afloat, it was more of a quick fix. As the challenges of remote work emerge, both employers and workers are on the spot to adapt to the new way of work.
If you run a business, there is no point hoping that things will get back to normal or that we will go back to the 9 to 5 office working at some point in the near future. Instead, take the time to understand these main challenges that companies face regarding remote work and how to resolve them.
1. The Death of Traditional Commuting?
Not every employee is happy to work or capable of working from home; some would not even choose to work from home if they had the choice. While productivity is always an issue when debating modes of work, managing it is particularly difficult when staff has little input in how they perform their tasks.
The traditional commuting, to which most workers are used, is dead. Thanks to COVID-19, it is only a matter of time before any job that can be done remotely will be required to be done remotely. As the world redefines what it means to ‘go to work’, the biggest challenge businesses face is figuring out the future of professional work.
The world was ready for remote work even before the coronavirus pandemic. This explains why the switch from traditional to remote-based work was easy and seamless for many businesses. With advanced remote work monitoring tools and affordable managed cloud services affordable, employers have no excuse but to invest in modern working systems. Therefore, it is justifiable to say that the employers are a greater obstacle to the adoption of remote work and not the employees.
2. Social and Cultural Aspects of Work
Workers have had a hard time switching from working in a traditional office setting to working virtually. Agreeably, working is not all about productivity and meeting bottom lines; there are also the social aspects of interacting with coworkers and collaborating with the staff. The fun in working is also usually invested in the social and communal aspects that make work fun and more human.
Unfortunately, with remote working, employees have had to change how they communicate, interact, and even how they perceive their work. Zoom meetings lack the personal touch of an in-person meeting, and there are no chat rooms or ‘coffee moments’ that allow employees to interact spontaneously.
The productivity of many employees has been dramatically affected by the change in the nature and culture of work. Work friendships and rivalries that spur innovation and engagement lack in remote work. While there are countless collaboration platforms that make it practical for employers to work online, they take a bit too long to get used to.
3. Business’s Existing Real Estate Investments
If many companies in operation today had the option to start fresh, there is a good chance that they would all start remote-work capable. The thing is, even to this moment, it takes a lot of investment – including in physical presence – to get a business started.
Many existing businesses have invested so much in leases and business properties that abandoning them and switching to fully remote work is an unimaginable waste.
Commercial lease agreements in the United States are usually long-term. It is not uncommon for a business to agree to 20 or 30-year office space leases, which rendered them a loss when the Coronavirus struck.
It is understandable for companies that have a harder time buying themselves off their leases or cutting the real estate investments for which they still pay to be reluctant to switch from the traditional 9 to 5 office-based work.
4. Remote Work Demands More Resource Investments
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that an employee has all the resources to complete their tasks in the office or from home. While it has been a buzzword for years, working from home is an alternative and flexible form of work that frees employees to perform in their out-of-office environment.
Companies have been reluctant to embrace remote work because of the resource investments they have to make to facilitate it. Businesses have to invest in the right software and often hardware that their staff can use to make remote work practical and productive.
The resources staff need, including laptops, networking devices, computer accessories, and the right software to enable remote work, should be provided by the employer. These resources may be costly for upcoming businesses. Luckily, they can always choose to partner with professional IT service providers and only pay for the resources they use when they use them.
5. Remote Work and Cybersecurity Challenges
Security rose to become one of the most significant concerns that businesses had to worry about as they implemented remote work for the first time. The surge in remote work opportunities opened the floodgates that allowed scammers and fraudsters to target inexperienced workers fumbling to find their way around online work platforms.
A report by Cisco titled Future of Secure Remote Work revealed that as many as 85 percent of workers’ lives were affected by cybersecurity measures in one way or another after the pandemic. This is a situation they never had to deal with before. The shift to remote work has forced organizations to rethink their data and equipment security and approach remote work more strategically.
While covid-19 has proven that workers would be willing to work from home, security matters are best dealt with by the employers. By analyzing the quality and security of their systems and data, every organization must weigh whether the pros of remote working outweigh the pros from a cybersecurity perspective.
Most of the corporate world is now used to the new way of work – primarily remote-based. At this point, businesses and organizations still figuring out how to implement this form of work are missing out.
Whether intentional or circumstantial, the hesitance is a waste of opportunity because there is no going back to full-time brick-and-mortar 9 to 5 work. If you are looking for more straightforward ways to incorporate remote work in your firm, talk to 360 Smart Networks today and get personalized advice on how to go about it.